Boat burglars have again targeted a Naples neighborhood that has already seen it's share of thefts. Over the weekend, a propeller and motor lower unit from a boat docked in a canal beside Jewel Box Avenue in the Royal Harbor neighborhood were reported stolen. Several similar crimes in Royal Harbor were also reported in early December, with thieves getting away with tens of thousands of dollars worth of lower units.
The stolen boat parts reported over the weekend were valued at about $4,100.
"They weigh close to 300, 400 pounds," said the owner of the dock, who leases the boat slip to the owner of the boat that was targeted. He did not want to be identified.
He said one thing makes the canal beside Jewel Box Avenue especially vulnerable to detecting thefts to the boats that are docked there.
"We have homes on one side of the street, and the canal on the opposite, with small trees blocking out the view of the boats," the dock owner said.
He said that police have advised he and his neighbors to install security cameras on their docks.
"We're all thinking about doing that," he said. "I think it's going to happen."
Naples Police advise you to take additional steps to prevent thieves from targeting your boat while it's docked:
- Remove connections to the battery
- Keep the outboard motor in the down position, in the water
- Install motion sensor spotlights, shining directly on your vessel
- Consider locking devices specialized in making lower unit removal difficult
- Position the outboard against or above an object limiting the amount of workspace
- Consider a boat alarm which detects movement of the boat.